Stunt 101 (Part 1)

Total time for this activity: 30 minutes

The song Stunt 101 was released by the musical group G-Unit in 2003. The song rose to number 5 on the Billboard chart of top rap songs. You will be listening to this song in this module as well as in Module 4 later in the course. In the song, the group’s three members (50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, and Young Buck) celebrate their recent fame, wealth, and success–a common theme in the Hip-Hop genre. This version of the video includes the lyrics (click on the CC icon on the bottom right bar of the video to activate the captioning).

Listen to the song several times. Then, answer the following questions. After you have finished answering the questions, compare your answers to those of the other members of your small group.

1. How does each of the group’s three members pronounce the phoneme /r/ at the end of words? What does this tell you about phonological variation within the AAE speech community? Note that 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks are both from New York City, but Young Buck is from Nashville, Tennessee.

2. How is the voiceless interdental fricative th (as in thin and with) pronounced at the beginning, middle, and end of words by each speaker of the group?

3. Provide as many examples as you can of consonant cluster reduction at the end of words. Compare your list to the lists of the other members of your group.

4. What are three examples of lyrics that you misheard the first time you listened to the song? What factors do you believe led to your initial difficulties with comprehension?

Reflection activity: After today‚Äôs session has concluded, reflect on this module’s discussion, readings, and activities. What aspects of the phonology of African-American English do you believe pose the greatest challenges for English learners who interact with speakers of AAE? Why do you think this is the case?